Progress at the EPIC Site in Sompting

Posted on 02 November 2020

Over the past eighteen months the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust have been working on a scheme to enhance the water environment and increase landscape resilience for local wildlife.

The Enhancing Places, Inspiring Communities (EPIC) project has created a new 1km section of the Broadwater Brook, realigning its course under the Decoy Farm landfill and placing it across Sompting Brooks. The main works were completed in September 2019 and the results are already clear to see.

There have been over 450 species now recorded using the site (an increase of 300 since the project begun) including the Scarce Blue Tailed Damselfly (first record in Sussex in 125 years), Long Tailed Blue Butterfly (a rare migrant), Nomada zonata (a rare nomad bee species) and a rare hawkmoth. With two new ponds just constructed and 6.8ha of wildflower meadow recently sown there is high expectation that the site will attract a greater diversity of wildlife in the future.

The construction of the two silt traps and the top of the channel are collecting a lot of the pollutants coming from surrounding urban runoff and noticeable improvements to water quality are already being recorded.

One of the big successes of the project has been the involvement of the local community and many TTW members have also come along to lend a hand, in all over 1,000 residents have participated in over 150 events and activities put on by the project, many contributing to building the diverse habitats which are proving so successful.

With a hard surface track under construction the site being readied for opening to the public in Spring next year and there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved with hedge planting, willow hide construction and planting the ponds up.

To find out more and get involved with the next year of the project

Contact: [email protected]